Ellie Mae CFO Matt LaVay leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about a year in the position
  • Thanks for LaVay
  • Popi Heron taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Pleasanton, California, May 31, 2018 — Matt LaVay, finance chief of Ellie Mae, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Ellie Mae, Inc. in a news release on Thursday, May 31, 2018, Matthew (Matt) LaVay, Chief Financial Officer, leaves the cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry after about a year in the role, effective June 15, 2018.

No company wants a CFO to flame out in the first years.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CFOs who departed over the past 12 months was 6.8 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 16 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position within two years, and 30 percent left the position within three years.

Ellie Mae will undertake a search for a successor.

LaVay’s duties will be taken over in the interim by Popi Heron, currently Vice President and Corporate Controller of Ellie Mae, Inc.

“For personal reasons”

LaVay’s imminent departure from the CFO post is explained as follows. Ellie Mae said: “Matthew LaVay, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), is leaving the company effective June 15, 2018 for personal reasons.”

In the announcement, the company did not detail the personal reasons causing LaVay to leave the position, leaving room for speculation. Generally speaking, “personal reasons” may include, among others, family-related reasons or health reasons.

Precise information about LaVay’s future plans was not immediately available.

Wake-up call

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for shareholders when a CFO leaves the position at short notice and without a reasonable explanation.

“No issues”

“There are no issues involving the company’s financial results, internal controls or financial reporting procedures that led to Mr. LaVay’s departure,” Ellie Mae said.

The company also announced that there is no change to its financial guidance for the second quarter and full year 2018 which it first provided when it reported its first quarter earnings on April 26, 2018.

Share price rise since April 2018

The change follows a rise in the share price of Ellie Mae, Inc. since April 2018.

Chaired by Sigmund Anderman

Ellie Mae, Inc. is chaired by Sigmund Anderman.

Sigmund Anderman, the Company’s founder, has served as the Company’s executive chairman since February 2015, and as a member of the Board since the Company’s inception in August 1997.

CEO: Jonathan H. Corr

Jonathan H. Corr serves as CEO of Ellie Mae, Inc. Corr, the Company’s chief executive officer since February 2015 and president since February 2013, has served on the Board since February 2015.

In the position of CFO since 2017

Matt LaVay has served as the Company’s chief financial officer since April 2017.

From October 2014 to March 2017, LaVay served as the Company’s senior vice president of finance where he oversaw finance, accounting, reporting and strategic planning.

From May 2012 to October 2014, LaVay previously served as the Company’s vice president and corporate controller.

LaVay previously served as vice president corporate controller at Taleo Corporation from October 2011 to April 2012.

Prior to Taleo Corporation, he was corporate controller and senior director of finance at Scientific Learning from July 2010 to October 2011.

LaVay began his career with Arthur Andersen LLP in 1991 as an auditor and subsequently held positions of increasing responsibility rising to audit manager.

After Arthur Anderson LLP, LaVay then held positions of increasing responsibility at PeopleSoft, Inc., salesforce.com, inc. and Thomas Weisel Partners.

LaVay holds a Bachelor degree in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology as well as a Master of Accounting degree from Georgia State University.

In addition, he is a certified public accountant.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Matt LaVay’s imminent move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 23.2018 ($).